This is the second in a two-part blog series that explores the differences between passive and active channel engagement, and provide tips on how to create a high-functioning, outcome-driven channel sales engine. If you missed our first blog that explains the characteristics of a passive approach, check it out here.
6 Steps to Active Channel Engagement
Is all engagement created equal?
When it comes to channel enablement — pushing for high performance and better revenue outcomes — the answer is no.
In one corner is the passive approach. Notoriously inefficient in the channel sales environment, passive engagement is often marked by miscommunication, incomplete or old data, and technology that isn’t built for the unique requirements of channel sellers.
You can read if you fall into the passive camp here.
By contrast, active channel engagement is distinguished by efficient, two-way flow of real-time information utilizing technology purpose-built for companies that sell through distributors or partners. Brands that adopt active engagement strategies are better able to adjust to market dynamics and customer needs, and experience immediate revenue gains from existing leads and opportunities.
Redefining Channel Sales
Active channel engagement is an approach that leverages pro-active and contextual engagement to truly enable the channel and maximize revenue potential. It’s the link that provides critical information flows between the manufacturer and channel partner based on the same view of the data.
Here are six critical elements that define an active channel engagement approach:
- Unified view
A unified view of all lead and opportunity details so that both manufacturer and distributor see the same updates and points of need.
Push-based notifications that align with current workflow providing information to the right person at the right time consistent with a “next best action” approach to sales enablement.
- Continuous feedback
Closed-loop feedback and status reporting that builds an information bridge between a manufacturer and all their distributors so that details on lead quality, deal status, training and education needs are clearly actionable.
In-context sales content and materials provided at the system level and positioned at the right deal stage and right product offering allowing for continuous training and knowledge transfer while providing a single publish and distribute interface for the manufacturer.
Visibility to leading indicators of channel performance like lead scores, follow up times, and deal stage conversion rates as a single view that both manufacturer and distributor can use to manage the channel.
- Create a high-performance sales engine
When active channel engagement strategies are implemented, the result is immediate revenue gains — generated from existing lead and opportunities as well as from cost reductions. Longer-term, the channel is able to reach its revenue potential, and better adjust to changes in market dynamics or customer needs.
Adopting an active channel engagement approach is essential to maximizing revenue and return on investment from channel activities. By establishing and integrating engagement, feedback, sales enablement, and nurture processes, manufacturers become better aligned with distributors and create a high performance channel sales engine.
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